Monday, September 12, 2016

Aerospatiale Pumas in the Philippine Air Force

One may know about the 250th Presidential Wing and its Bell and Black Hawks in its inventory, but only the few knows about the Aerospatiale Pumas that was leased and was put into service in the Philippine Air Force once upon a time.


BASIC KNOWLEDGE - HELICOPTERS IN PAF SERVICE
SA-330 Puma Helicopters.
These choppers are once the workhorse of the 250th Presidential Wing. Accordingly, these was one of the large choppers ever operated by the Philippine Air Force, aside from the S-70 Black Hawks.

The birds were acquired during the time of ex-President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1979 by the Central Bank of the Philippines. The number of Pumas that were leased were two.

Accordingly, these are in complement with other helicopters in the arsenal of the 250th like 3 Bell 205A-1 helicopters in which they replaced the UH-1H helicopters in which it was being used by the 700th Special Wing, Sikorsky S-76As and S-70s, among others in order to suffice the presidential requirements.

The two Pumas have the Tail Nos, RP-C752 (c/n 1562) and RP-C753 (c/n 1570). They
are nicknamed "Jonty" and "Giggy" respectively under Pres. Cory Aquino's term in which the birds were named after her grandchildren.

The birds are sold in the late 1990s at the end of Pres. Ramos's term and replaced by Bell 412EP since then. 

RP-C752's airframe was last seen in Taylor Airport Texas in 2003 and were no reports since then. RP-C753 meanwhile were lase operated by Billings Air Service in Montana, USA.


Details Pertaining to RP-C753.

BASIC INFO ABOUT THE PUMA HELICOPTERS

Accordingly, the contents are from Airliners.net website. But since the site is reportedly down permanently, let us post the details here. 

Description

The Aerospatiale (originally Sud) Puma is perhaps the most successful European built medium lift helicopter, and while most Pumas have been sold to military customers (largely for use as troop transports), a significant number are in commercial use.

The Puma was first designed to meet a French army requirement for a medium lift helicopter capable of operating in all weather conditions. The first of two Sud SA-330 prototypes flew for the first time on April 15 1965, with the first production aircraft flying in September 1968. In January 1970 Sud was merged into Aerospatiale. A 1967 decision by Britain's Royal Air Force to order the Puma as its new tactical helicopter transport resulted in substantial Westland participation in the helicopter's design and construction.

Early versions of the Puma were for military customers, including the SA-330B, C, E and H. The initial civil models were the Turmo IIIC powered SA-330F passenger and SA-330G freight versions, which became the first helicopters certificated for single pilot IFR operations in A and B conditions.

The SA-330J is the definitive civil Puma, and compared to the earlier F and G has composite main rotors and an increased maximum takeoff weight. The weather radar equipped J also became the first helicopter certificated for all weather operations including flight in icing conditions, awarded in April 1978.

IPTN of Indonesia assembled a small number of SA-330s before switching to the Super Puma. After Aerospatiale ceased production in 1987, the sole production source for the Puma became IAR (originally ICA) of Romania.

The AS-332 Super Puma is a stretched development, and is described separately under Eurocopter.

Powerplant

SA-330J - Two 1175kW (1575shp) Turbom├ęca Turmo IVC turboshafts driving a four blade main rotor and five blade tail rotor.

SA-330G/F - Two 1070kW (1435shp) Turbom├ęca Turmo IIIC4s.


Apparently, there are more photos regarding the said helicopters. And since Timawa is reportedly down (with reports that it will be down permanently), we have managed to retrieve some of those from cached data left...


CONCLUSION

These Puma helicopters are once the workforce in the Philippine Armed Forces as a presidential transport. Albeit the lesser information outlets reporting about it, it is confirmed that the so-called "ghost aircrafts" once served proudly in the sense that it served former presidents like Ferdinand Marcos, Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos. The point is that such choppers do serve its purpose in the 250th Presidential Wing in the meantime as a leased aircraft long before it was now in the hands on its new owners. Their present whereabouts and details are a bit in an uncertainty, but it is certain that such helicopters are once a pride of the Philippine Air Force.

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